Children of Opelika fatal car crash victims remember their parents

AUBURN, Ala.- Just days after Cassey and Adam Finley lost their parents, Dennis and Rhonda in a car accident, they spoke with News 3 to remember their parents.

Friday night, authorities say Antonio Reese of Auburn was traveling south on Magnolia Avenue in Opelika and did not stop. He then entered the intersection at Magnolia Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard and broadsided the Finley’s car. Before the accident, authorities say Reese attempted to escape from an officer who pulled him over for a routine traffic stop on Auburn Avenue and Fruitland Avenue. Reese was charged with reckless murder, felony attempting to elude and assault in the first-degree.

Dennis Finley died at the scene, and Rhonda was airlifted to Midtown Medical Center in Columbus.

finley1Cassey Finley says when she learned of the accident, she thought it was a prank. She said someone called her boyfriend’s phone to notify them of the accident. She then called her brother, Adam and they arrived at the hospital at the same time. When they arrived to the ER, they were told there was nobody under the name Finley in the emergency room. Then, Cassey says an officer and another man told them their father had passed and their mother was taken to Columbus.

That next day, Saturday, family sat at Rhonda’s bedside.They held her hand and talked to her to try and bring her back. Doctors conducted tests on her. Cassey said late Saturday night, the family knew that Rhonda would not make it, but they still sat at her bedside. “Us kids, my grandparents, her brothers and sisters and our preacher were all surrounding her bedside,” Cassey said. We sang a song, we held her hand.”

At 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Rhonda Finley passed away.

The Finley kids say their parents were extremely loving and would give the shirt off their backs. They now know that their parents are watching over them.

“I’m glad that they are in Heaven, and I get to see them one day,” Adam said. “I feel like they can hear me when I talk to them. I’ve been talking to them cause I know they are watching over us.”

The whole family was entrenched in their church, Cornerstone United Methodist in Auburn. Rhonda would volunteer in the nursery. Cassey says she knows her mother is in Heaven with Dennis and she is probably holding every baby she sees.

The funeral will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Auburn.

In lieu of flowers, donations are to be sent to Cornerstone United Methodist Church and specified to the Finley Family.

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